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North Carolina Workers’ Comp Defense Blog

 

Accidents can be Aggravating

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Allocating fault when Plaintiff has pre-existing conditions and is involved in two accidents Stippich v. Reese’s Transit, Inc. In this case, Plaintiff sustained injuries to his back and neck when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident arising out of and in the course of his employment with Defendant-Employer in October of 2014.  He […]

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Discretion to Adjudicate an Issue

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May the Commission Determine Issues Not Mentioned By the Parties Haulcy v. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. On April 23, 2014, Plaintiff was maneuvering a 55-pound tire at work when she felt pain in her lower back.  Plaintiff began working modified duty on April 24, 2014.  Defendant-Employer (“Goodyear”) had a 90-day modified duty policy.  […]

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Industrial Commission Update

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Opinion and Awards to be E-mailed – The Industrial Commission announced that beginning on January 2, 2018 workers’ compensation Opinions and Awards will be served via email. The change affects all parties that are represented by attorney’s. The Opinion and Awards will be sent via email to the attorney of record for each party. The […]

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Money Talks

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Determining the Proper Average Weekly Wage Calculations to Use  This claim arose from an occupational shoulder injury claim made by a violist in December of 2013.  The claim was accepted and the only contested issue was the proper calculation for determining Plaintiff’s average weekly wage.  Plaintiff worked 36 of the 52 weeks prior to her […]

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Groundbreaking—IRS makes things complicated

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Employers who adhere to certain IRS guidelines may face much lower indemnity payments for employees who traveled for work pre-injury Myres v. Strom Aviation, Inc.  (16-558) In companies where employees regularly travel away from home to work, a big-ticket item on an employee’s paycheck is almost always the reimbursement they are paid for meals, travel, […]

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Industrial Commission No Longer to Allow Carriers to Directly File Motions and Responses (Form 24s, 23 Responses, etc.)

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Meredith Henderson, the North Carolina Industrial Commission’s Executive Secretary, has announced that beginning Monday, September 18, 2017, the Commission will no longer accept Motions or Motion Responses filed by adjusters.  The Commission, in conjunction with the North Carolina State Bar, has deemed filing Motions and Responses to be the unlicensed practice of law, in violation […]

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Total Eclipse of Comp

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Examining An Injury Resulting from an Eclipse Under North Carolina Law On August 21, 2017, many of us in North Carolina looked up at the sun to view the rare phenomenon of a total or near total eclipse. In most instances, the viewing was done with safety measures in place. As the eclipse occurred during […]

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Average Weekly Wage – Fair and Just?

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The Ball v. Bayada Home Health Center, __ N.C. App. ___, (2017),  decision is a good reminder that N.C.G.S. § 97-2(5) provides five different methods to calculate average weekly wage, depending on the facts and circumstances of each claim.  Determining average weekly wage must be fair and just, meaning that the calculation must reflect what […]

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Waiving Legal Arguments

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In Bentley v. Jonathan Piner Construction, the N.C. Court of Appeals addressed when a legal issue would be deemed waived by a party.  The Court also addressed whether an injured worker was an independent contractor or employee at the time of his accident, and whether the Defendant was a statutory employer. In Bentley, Plaintiff suffered […]

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State Legislature and Governor Work Quickly to Overturn Wilkes

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On July 20, 2017, Governor Cooper signed into law House Bill 26. The Bill, which passed unanimously in the State Legislature, addressed and reversed portions of the recent Supreme Court decision, Wilkes v. City of Greenville. The Bill was in response to the Court’s determination that the workers’ compensation Parsons presumption applies to any injury […]

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Time Bars for Medical Compensation and Evidence Bars for Indemnity Benefits

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Capen Trucer Carl Anders, II v. Universal Leaf North America In Capen Trucer Carl Anders, II v. Universal Leaf North America, No. COA 16-910, the Plaintiff appealed an Industrial Commission decision denying his claim for additional medical and indemnity benefits allegedly related to a prior compensable injury.  The Court of Appeals analyzed the limitations period […]

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Supreme Court Determines the Burden of Causation is on Employers and Carriers in Compensable Claims

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In Wilkes v. City of Greenville, __ S.E.2d __, (2017) the North Carolina Supreme agreed with the Court of Appeal’s determination that when compensability is admitted an injured worker is entitled to a presumption that future medical treatment is causally related to the compensable injury. Moreover, the Supreme Court expanded its review to the Russell […]

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Doctors Determine Parsons: Failure to Overcome the Parsons Presumption

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Bell v. Goodyear The Bell decision is guided by the Parsons presumption, (Parsons v. The Pantry, Inc., 485 S.E.2d 867 (1997)) which holds that when additional medical treatment for a compensable injury is required, a rebuttable presumption arises in favor of the claimant that the treatment is directly related to the original compensable injury. The […]

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